Currently on a trip to the United States, Belize’s Fire Chief, Ted Smith, has visited two Belizean firefighters studying in Virginia, USA. The two firefighters, Patrick Parks and Johnny Cardenas, are a six-month training course at the Hanover Fire Academy. Fire Chief Smith says he is trying to secure similar scholarships for two more Belizean firefighters to study at the Hanover Fire Academy.
Fire Chief Smith also got the opportunity to meet Jethro Piland, Chief of the Hanover County Fire and EMS (Emergency Medical Support) Department in the State of Virginia. Smith was accompanied during his visit by retired Fire Chief from Chesterfield County, Virginia, Paul Mauger; and a Belize-American who is President of the Virginia Emergency Service Assistance Program (VESAP) for Belize, Archibald McFarlane.
Mauger and McFarlane had made a one-week visit to Belize back in February, when they toured facilities countrywide and supervised training sessions for local firefighters in leadership, management and strategic planning. They were also instrumental in securing the six-month training for the two Belizeans currently enrolled at Hanover Fire Academy.
Upon their visit to Belize in February, they had also met with Belize’s Minister of National Emergency Management (with responsibility for the National Fire Service) Hon Edmond Castro who thanked them for their assistance which he says represents an invaluable contribution towards the development of the Belize National Fire Service.
Fire Chief Ted Smith with Patrick Parks and Johnny Cardenas